Preparing for Spring!

This Sunday was probably the first we have had in a few months that is showing us a glimpse of Spring – with the slightly longer days and some Sun breaking through the clouds.  It was a reminder that I have lots of work to do in the garden to bring if up to scratch and get ready for planting out in the next couple of weeks.  Continue reading

A look back on the summer and autumn that was in the garden

Its fair to say that my new passion of cycling took priority over the summer with many hours in the saddle taking away time that would usually be spent in the garden.  However, we still managed to grow a really good crop of tomatoes which started to ripen prior to Christmas and lasted all the way through to April.  We also had good success with the chilies, capsicums, cucumbers and pumpkins.  The raspberries also kept the kids entertained and they managed a couple of handfuls a day, with the second crop in March/April providing the best berries.

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The capsicum experiment

I experimented growing capsicums and extending their season a few years back here.  The experiment was partially successful, but I threw out the plants once they started to look a little withered.  This meant that I had to start over again the following year from seed.  My experience with these plants are that they take a long time to grow and produce fruit, leaving only a short amount of time before our cold season kicks in again. Continue reading

Enjoying the harvest of home grown apples

It is amazing how good the taste of fresh home grown apples is.  This year we have a bumper harvest of apples of a number of different varieties including Gala, Honey crunch, Fuji, Golden delicious and some other varieties that are unknown.  The unknown varieties are the branches that I grafted on to my trees from a friend.  Some of the apples look like the old heritage varieties such is the cox pippin.  It is amazing to see the different apples growing together on the same tree.  My hope is that some of the new varieties will extend the season a little for us so we can enjoy fresh apples for a few more months of the year.  Given that the branches were only grafted in late 2013, I was quite surprised to see fruit so early on.  This proves that a great way to introduce a new variety of fruit with a year or two is to graft onto an already established tree.  To see how I grafted our apple trees click here.

Here are some pics of the different varieties on each tree.

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Home grown nectarines

Despite the many challenges of growing any type of stone fruit in our climate, there is nothing quite like biting into tree ripened, home grown nectarines.  The biggest issue with the nectarine trees has been the curly leaf.  Every year both of the nectarines have had this issue despite my attempts to spray with copper just prior to the buds opening up.  This year was a little less severe than previous years, so my hope is that if I keep up the spray, eventually the curly leaf will disappear.  So is it worth going through all the effort of growing nectarines?  I think my kids have answered the question…

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Summer fruit harvest continues

There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh summer fruit straight off the plant.  The kids really enjoy being able to get out in the garden and sample whatever is on offer.

As we have spent a lot of time away on holidays over the summer, it is always nice to see how excited my daughter gets when we roll back into the driveway.  Its not long before she has a container full of strawberries, raspberries or apricots ready to show me.

Here are some pictures of this years fruit harvest, with plenty of variety to keep the kids interested.

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